The Faith Which He Once Destroyed
Paul had been through Judea to Jerusalem, but he was sent hastily out of Jerusalem because of persecution Acts 9:28--30. This was necessary because he was unknown to the churches of Judea. All they knew about Paul was that he had persecuted the churches. They did not know of his meeting with Christ on the road to Damascus.They had heard of the killing of Stephen. They had heard of his plans to carry persecution to other places...especially Damascus. In fact this news beat Paul to Damascus. Acts 9:13,14. Now they were hearing that the persecutor had been converted; that the one who once persecuted them now preached the faith which he once destroyed. And as you can imagine that was difficult for them to accept.
Paul’s efforts to destroy the faith actually spread the faith. Acts 8:4. Faith cannot be destroyed by persecution. It is only sin in the church that can destroy faith.
All the water in the world
However hard it tried,
Can never, never sink a ship
Unless it gets inside.
All the evil in the world,
The wickedness and the sin
Can never sink your soul’s fair craft
Unless you let it in.
It is strange that faith brings persecution. But that’s because it is a singular faith. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” When Philip preached Christ to the Ethiopian Eunuch he obviously preached that one way, Acts 8:12 “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” The Ethiopian obeyed the gospel immediately. The apostles did not preach different ways of salvation. It comes only through Christ.
It is an everlasting faith. Jesus said that the apostles were not only to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” But He also said, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” And then that “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Thus it is an unchangeable faith. Galatians 1:8,9.
The only way this faith can be destroyed is when we depart from it, or when we do not work for it, or when we do not serve in love.
Verses for further study: